There’s one trick to great writing that you’re almost certainly not using. And it’s really, really simple.
You ready for it?
Read everything you write, out loud.
You’ll feel stupid and self-conscious at first. Do it anyway. Push through. Don’t just read it under your breath. You have to literally verbalise every single word, from start to finish.
If you do that, you will instantly notice:
- awkwardly-worded phrases
- unnecessary repetition
- spelling and grammar mistakes
- boring, run-on sentences that never seem to end, even when you think they should, but instead you just keep using comma, after comma, after comma, until you fall asleep
I know multiple best-selling authors that use this trick. It’s why, if you’re writing a book, you should always produce an audiobook as well — not because the audiobook will sell a ton of copies, but because being forced to sit down and read your book out loud will make it at least 10% better, and often 40-50% better.
In fact, one writer I know who has worked on multiple books, screenplays, magazine articles and more — he’s a complete rockstar — told me he never submits anything without reading it out loud first. Not a manuscript, not an article, not even a tweet or an email. He reads literally everything out loud. And it’s a big part of the reason why he’s now a professional.
Sure, it takes time. It’s much easier to skip this step. Which is why doing it is valuable.